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Gyeonggi Province education chief announces bid for governor

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- The education superintendent of the province surrounding the capital Seoul announced his bid for governor on Tuesday, posing a major challenge to the ruling party. Kim Sang-gon, a long-time favorite within the opposition camp, said he would run for governor of the nation's most populous province on the ticket of the new opposition coalition party scheduled for launch at the end of this month.

(LEAD Opposition bloc begins work on new coalition party

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and maverick lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo began work Monday to lay the groundwork for a united coalition party amid growing criticism from the ruling party. DP leader Kim Han-gil and entrepreneur-turned-politician Ahn announced Sunday that they would create a new party to challenge the ruling Saenuri Party, a surprise move that upended the political landscape ahead of nationwide local elections in June. Kim and Ahn also said they will aim for a transfer of power at the next presidential election in 2017.

Opposition bloc begins work on new coalition party

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and maverick lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo began work Monday to lay the groundwork for a united coalition party amid growing criticism from the ruling party. DP leader Kim Han-gil and entrepreneur-turned-politician Ahn announced Sunday that they would create a new party to challenge the ruling Saenuri Party, a surprise move that upended the political landscape ahead of nationwide local elections in June. Kim and Ahn also said they will aim for a transfer of power at the next presidential election in 2017.

Tycoon-turned-legislator announces candidacy for Seoul mayor

SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- Seven-term ruling party legislator and millionaire business executive Chung Mong-joon officially announced his candidacy for Seoul mayor, entering a race that on the same day took an unexpected turn with the announcement of a merger of opposition blocs. Chung, son of late Hyundai Group founder and current chairman of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world's largest shipbuilder, said he will run for the mayor of the capital city, pledging to put Seoul at the center of national development.

Tycoon-turned-legislator announces candidacy for Seoul mayor

SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- Seven-term ruling party legislator and millionaire business executive Chung Mong-joon officially announced his candidacy for Seoul mayor, entering a race that on the same day took an unexpected turn with the announcement of a merger of opposition blocs. Chung, son of late Hyundai Group founder and current chairman of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world's largest shipbuilder, said he will run for the mayor of the capital city, pledging to put Seoul at the center of national development.

Ahn asks opposition leader not to nominate local election candidates

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- Independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo asked the chief of the main opposition party Thursday to join him in abolishing a controversial nomination system for local election candidates, despite the ruling party's decision to keep it against its own presidential campaign pledge.

Ranking ruling-party lawmaker to announce bid for Seoul mayor

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- Chung Mong-joon, a seven-term lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party, said Wednesday he will announce his bid for mayor of Seoul next week. Chung, 62, has long been regarded as one of three ruling camp figures with a strong chance of winning their party's nomination to run for Seoul mayor in the June 4 local elections for mayors, governors, council members and education superintendents. "I will announce my bid on Sunday," Chung told reporters after a party meeting at the Saenuri headquarters in Seoul. "It's time to stop thinking and start enjoying."

Opposition party slams Park's economic reform plan

SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) blasted President Park Geun-hye's economic reform plan Tuesday, saying it fails to address the public's real concerns. Park unveiled the so-called "three-year economic innovation plan" in a nationally televised address marking the first anniversary of her inauguration, vowing to lift the country's potential growth rate to 4 percent, achieve 70 percent employment and lay the foundation for a per capita income of US$40,000.

Park expresses shock at 'salt farm slavery'

SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye expressed shock Friday after two handicapped people were rescued last week from a salt farm after years of slavery-like labor, saying she can't believe such an incident happened in the 21st century. The two in their 40s, one of them mentally handicapped and the other visually handicapped, were coaxed with job promises into the salt farm on an island off the southwest coast in 2008 and 2012, respectively, and were forced to work like slaves with little sleep and no pay. Attempts to escape were met by beatings.

Opposition party demands gov't reshuffle over controversial ruling

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) demanded Friday that President Park Geun-hye reshuffle her Cabinet and presidential office over the acquittal of a key suspect in a high-profile election-meddling scandal. The suspect, former Seoul police chief Kim Yong-pan, was acquitted Thursday of charges of scaling back and whitewashing the results of a police investigation into allegations of state meddling in the 2012 presidential campaign. In handing down the ruling, the Seoul Central District Court cited insufficient evidence.
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